Monday's state budget forecast comes indeed as good news. Democrats and Republicans have been squabbling for months over how best to solve a $6.2 billion state budget gap. Suddenly, with Monday's news, that gap narrowed to $5 billion. That still doesn't solve the stae's budget woes. A $5 billion deficit is just as daunting. But it should leave more room for compromise. Gov. Mark Dayton, a Democrat, did so by immediately dropping his proposal for a temporary 3 percent income tax surtax on incomes above $500,000, which would have raised $918 million.
Events of recent weeks have proven to test the mettle of the Obama administration on foreign policy. With large numbers of U.S. troops already in two Middle East countries, the administration must remain cautious about committing more to any other effort in the Middle East. First the weeks' long protest in Egypt which saw the overthrown of its president; now we have a regime under siege in Libya.
If Minnesota is to compete in the global marketplace, Minnesota students must become more proficient in STEM skills -- Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Sen. Al Franken, DFL-Minn., announced Thursday that he will introduce legislation that will invest in STEM education, a good first step. Sen. Franken's legislation would establish a STEM Master Teacher Corps for top K-12 teachers.
As the details of Gov. Mark Dayton's biennium budget come to light, it comes as a surprise that the budget targets long-term care -- a long-term survivor of serious budget cuts through the years by both parties. Overall, the Dayton budget would save $775 million in health and human services programming through a manipulation with federal Medicaid funds.
The Republican-led Minnesota Legislature took the first step in the budget battle by passing a bill calling for $1 billion in cuts, which Gov. Mark Dayton, a Democrat, promptly vetoed as providing a piecemeal solution to a $6.2 billion problem. But the governor also vetoed the bill because it relied too heavily on state aid cuts to local government, a pot of money which has been decimated over the years in an attempt to balance the state budget without raising revenue. Gov.
Two months into the new session of Congress, and we've yet seen any movement toward creating new jobs in America. The Republican takeover of the U.S. House and narrowing the gap in the U.S. Senate with the Democrats was predicated on a November election that focused on the economy and jobs.
The state budget proposed Tuesday by Gov. Mark Dayton goes along ways filling a $6.2 billion hole and yet be balanced at day's end. We believe Republicans will be hard-pressed to find a budget solution based solely on cuts that won't harm thousands of vulnerable Minnesotans and raise property taxes on middle class Minnesotans trying desperately to climb out of the Great Recession. As expected, Gov.
President Barack Obama's $3.7 trillion budget falls short in turning around the nation's mounting federal deficit, but it takes federal spending down that road. With the national debt exceeding $14 trillion and annual deficits of more than $1 trillion, it will take a number of years to put the budget back on an even keel. President Obama's 2012 budget balances cuts with revenue, with some saying the budget cuts go too far.
In part to fulfill a campaign promise, Sen. John Carlson, R-Bemidji, last week introduced a bill calling for a tuition freeze at Minnesota State Colleges and Universities and University of Minnesota campuses. More importantly, Sen. Carlson says he wants to solve the state's $6.2 billion budget problem but not by asking students at either institution to pay more. "We need to make sure during these times that we not balance the budget on the backs of students," Sen.
Gov. Mark Dayton's move Thursday night to veto the $900 million state spending cuts bill had been targeted for a long time, and comes as no surprise. Still, House and Senate Republicans rushed through with their bill, knowing it was veto bait, probably for no other reason than to test the new Democratic governor's will. In an interview last week with the Pioneer, Gov. Dayton said, "I haven't used that word, (veto) but I will have to see what it finally looks like. I've stated what your editorial (Pioneer, Jan.